According to the Gottman’s, 69% of relationship arguments are unsolvable, so it no surprise that they can cause so much frustration. Have you ever been in a situation where you are both feeling unheard, misunderstood and you are both starting to say things that you will regret tomorrow? If you have, you are not alone. I know I have had many experiences like this where I have left the conversation feeling more distant rather than more connected.
The first step in taking a break during a difficult conversation is recognising when this might be necessary. This means being part of the conversation AND having part of self that can observe from the outside how the conversation is going (we work on developing this part of self in my course ‘Relationship Cycle Breaker’).
You might notice that you both seem to be repeating yourselves, with little sense of forward movement. Or that you have gone completely off topic and are now talking about every time there has been conflict.
Any of these or the ideas on the tiles are great reasons to take a break. If we don’t take a break, we risk the argument escalating and creating more distance in the relationship. Taking a break allows for both nervous systems to start to settle down. It can allow something different to emerge.